Re: GNOME Foundation Board Meeting Minutes :: 7/6/07

In concrete terms, what sort of things would people reasonably
hope to achieve by joining ECMA?

    Of course, I'd be more comfortable with it if we put out a press
    release saying something to the effect of 'we see no way to avoid
    implementing OOXML without screwing our users, so we're joining ECMA
    to make sure it sucks as little as possible. All other things being
    equal, we'd much prefer to implement a spec that has a much better
    patent grant, was developed through a more public process, uses open
    standards like mathml, etc.,

We are going to implement the other specs too, right?  So we shouldn't
treat this as a matter of choosing one or the other.

				 but since MS has a dominant market
    position, we don't have much of a choice in the matter.'

We don't need to be bullied into implementing formats that users want
to use.  We want to support all formats that users use, to the extent
we can.

However, it may be true that we don't have much of a choice in this
matter.  Certain aspects of OOXML are patented by Microsoft, in the US
and some other countries.  Microsoft offers a gratis patent license,
on conditions that do not allow free implementations.  To change OOXML
enough that we could distribute an implementation of it in the US
would be a very big change.


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